March 3, 2018 Subject:
First Logical Explanation for Jesus behavior
Even though he was not of the same position, Albert Schweitzer describes this essay --on "The Aims of Jesus and His Disciples"-- as not only "one of the greatest events in the history of criticism" but also "a masterpiece of general literature".
Though he was a Deist, Reimarus exposed here his thesis that Jesus intended to be an earthly liberator --the man who would free the Jews from the Roman joke. He planned to start a popular rebellion upon his return to Jerusalem (on a donkey), to which purpose he sent forward his disciples to rise the masses. However, the results were less than satisfactory and followers scattered away, but Romans took note so they arrested and executed him.
After seeing that the Romans were not after them, Reimarus argues, the disciples decided to steal Jesus' body and change their doctrine from an earthly Messiah to an otherworldly, spiritual, redeemer. Reimarus is here hinting that the original design of the writers of the New Testament, as well as that of Jesus, was not to teach true rational religion, but to serve their own selfish ambitions, in a combination of conscious fraud and enthusiasm.
The transcribed chapters here are slightly abridged from the German original text. The index at page 2 omits Chapter IV and numbers erroneously the subsequent chapters.
A scanned and proofread version of this can be freely obtained from me at claudg1950 yahoo com